31 Jul 2019

Going Deeper: Brand mission content

This post is part of an ongoing series called Going Deeper where we look at branded content production through the lens of the world’s most important question: why.

Last week we looked one of the possible forms of branded content, documentary-style content. This week we’re diving into another – what we call brand mission content.

Brand mission content can be seen as “branded content lite.” For marketers who have been used to creating more overtly promotional or sales-focused videos, commissioning a brand mission video is a good way to begin evolving your organization in the direction of branded content.

Any video piece that attempts to communicate not the what of a company (its products or services) but the why of a company – its mission, its purpose, the spark of inspiration that set the entire thing in motion to begin with – can be described as an “about us”-style piece – although we always hope that marketers are coming up with much more interesting titles than that. We call them Brand Mission pieces.

Brand mission videos maintain a relatively overt focus on, and mentions of your brand, but usually in the context of a deeper story, and usually without overt mention of the benefits or features of your product or service, which is what separates them from traditional advertising.

You may be asking what value you’re creating in producing a piece that’s all about yourselves as a brand. And while that answer somewhat depends on exactly what it is that you do and why you do it, the simple answer is that, increasingly, consumers want to know that they’re making ethical buying choices, or connecting with the brands they buy from on a human level.

The internet age has made it easier for smaller brands to reach their audience and for consumers to be more selective about where they spend their money. No longer purely interested in value for money or the quality of the product, modern shoppers are also looking to be reassured that the companies they spend their money with are mission-driven, use ethically sourced raw materials and, in some cases, even give back to disadvantaged communities one ‘buy one, give one’ basis.

If you’re working with a brand that has some ethical bona-fides, then a piece of documentary-style content that explores and explains that background can help make your customers feel very good about themselves and their choices.

And even if your mission is less altruistic than that, don’t underestimate the value that customers will put on seeing the real human faces behind the business. It makes you real and relatable and not just some faceless mega corporation.

One of our favorites in this category is this brand mission video from TOMS shoes – one of the earliest “one-for-one” retailers. By bringing the company’s mission to life, and showing real children who have been positively impacted by that mission has enormous value. As a potential customer it makes you feel warm and gooey in all the right places.

Next week: we’ll take a look at narrative-style content.